(EnergyAsia, November 23 2012, Friday) — Two state oil companies of Abu Dhabi and South Korea have signed a first agreement to cooperate on strategic oil stockpile.

On Wednesday, Abu Dhabi National Oil Co (ADNOC) became the 12th company to stockpile oil in South Korea when it signed on to lease tanks from Korea National Oil Corp (KNOC) to store up to six million barrels of crude for three years. The stockbuilding programme is expected to start early next year, giving ADNOC the flexibility to supply oil from a new base in Asia to customers in the region.

South Korea gains from having first rights to the stockpile in the port city of Yeosu in the event of any supply disruption. Yeosu is growing in stature as a major oil storage and distribution hub serving North Asia.

The agreement was signed in Abu Dhabi in the presence of Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and visiting South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, and senior government and business officials to mark the start of construction of the emirate’s first nuclear reactor. A South Korean consortium was awarded the contract to build the US$20 billion nuclear power plant in 2009.